Man wanted in Sullivan County on kidnapping, other charges arrested in Knoxville

Rain Smith • Mar 10, 2010 at 12:00 AM

A man wanted for kidnapping, assault and felony reckless endangerment in Sullivan County has been apprehended in Knoxville.

According to U.S. Marshal Warren Mays, Jonathan Jessee Ryans, 20, last known address 4550 Highway 126, Blountville, was arrested at about 1 a.m. Deputy Marshals and Knoxville police identified Mays while conducting surveillance near the Budget Inn on Magnolia Avenue.

"We've been working pretty diligently since Sullivan County asked us to help them with it, out of our Greeneville office through our (Smoky Mountain) task force," Mays said. "They had developed some leads out of Greenville that he had some associates, girlfriends, ex-girlfriends, etc., down here in the Knoxville area."

Mays said authorities had received reports that Ryans may be armed, but no weapons were found and he was apprehended without incident.

Last Tuesday the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office asked the public to help locate Ryans — a suspected Knoxville gang member — after he allegedly threatened to kill his girlfriend.

The Sheriff's Office said the man terrorized the woman and her 4-year-old daughter, and attempted to ram their car with another vehicle during a chase from Kingsport to Blountville.

He was sought on two counts each of aggravated domestic assault and kidnapping and one count each of felony reckless endangerment and vandalism over $500.

Ryans’ girlfriend, Brittany Wilson, alleges he refused to let her go to work on Feb. 25. According to an affidavit, at 8:30 a.m. Wilson called her boss, with her boss then calling police. When Ryans discovered the police had been called, he wrapped a knife in a towel and said if any officers came he would kill her.

Ryans demanded that Wilson take him to his mother’s residence at 759 Ballards Drive, Blountville. So Ryans, Wilson and her 4-year-old daughter got in the car.

At Ballards Drive, Ryans allegedly grabbed the wheel and refused to let Wilson turn there. At that time Ryans’ sister, Jasmine Boyd, was driving down Ballards Drive in their mother’s car. Her friend Lakin Russell was with her. They saw Ryans and Wilson, and Ryans then allegedly tried to get his sister to beat up Wilson. Then he demanded that she and Russell follow them to Kingsport, allegedly threatening to kill Wilson if they refused.

During the ensuing ride to Kingsport, Ryans allegedly grabbed the wheel several times, according to court records. Wilson’s 4-year-old daughter was crying and begging him not to hurt her mother.

Wilson stopped at a gas station at the corner of Center Street and Eastman Road. Ryans allegedly proceeded to try and pick a fight with a white male — it was unclear if he knew that person — and Wilson drove off with her child.

Then Ryans allegedly jumped into the car his sister was driving and chased Wilson east on Stone Drive toward Blountville.

SCSO Lt. B.J. Richardson said Wilson told police Ryans kept trying to rear-end her — that he was so close she couldn’t see his headlights.

After she turned right onto Highway 394, Ryans passed her and stopped in front of her car. He got out and started toward her, so she backed up. Ryans went back to his mother’s car, backed it into Wilson’s car, then started to drive off, police said.

Wilson pulled out behind him, passed him and drove on to the sheriff’s office. Ryans made a U-turn and headed back toward 11-W.

After stopping at the sheriff’s office, Wilson drove on to work.

At some point, Ryans’ allegedly used Wilson’s cell phone to call her mother. He allegedly told her mother he had two guns and was going to kill her daughter.

According to jail records, Ryans has a history of violence and is currently on probation in both Kingsport and Bristol. Between March 2008 and Jan. 26, 2010, Ryans has been incarcerated at the Sullivan County Jail eight times.

"This was certainly not just a U.S. Marshals operation," Mays said. "This was Sullivan County, the U.S. Marshals, Knoxville PD. The Smoky Mountain Task Force, of which all those agencies are participants, is what made this happen."

Times-News reporter Kacie Breeding contributed to this report.

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